Smartwatches are a fashion statement for some, a neat piece of technology for others. But for the elderly, they transcend any ‘cool factor’ and can be genuinely useful. For instance, they can provide medication reminders, track daily activity and even alert loved ones of any emergency. Some smartwatches can also take and receive phone calls, which is a particularly useful feature because unlike a phone a watch will be worn all of the time.
If you are looking to invest in a smartwatch or fitness device for your loved one, we have prepared a list for you below which we feel covers the best devices available right now. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best smartwatches for the elderly in 2017:
Omate Wherecom S3
The Omate Wherecom S3 is a smartwatch designed for the elderly. This is an exceedingly easy smartwatch to use, with Omate’s intuitive OUI Senior skin sitting atop of Android. OUI Senior provides its own dialler, message hub and alarm system. That alarm system can be set up to remind the elderly when it is time to take their medication.
The smartwatch connects to a smartphone over Wi-Fi for push notifications and the interface is navigated on the device’s 1.54-inch 320 x 320 display. The display is snappy and responsive and importantly OUI Senior is very easy to get your head around. The Wherecom’s party piece is a physical red SOS button on the side of the case, which when pressed will send the location of the wearer by GPS to contacts over Wi-Fi or 3G.
The S3 can last around two days on a single charge and the straps are interchangeable. The price is set at around 150 Euros and it’ll go on sale from September.
Tempo by CarePredict
The Tempo by CarePredict is a unique wearable device. It doesn’t have a touchscreen display or any display at all. Instead, it’s touted as a wearable sensor that can help health workers and carers identify precursors to serious health concerns in the elderly. We have included it in our smartwatch list simply because this device is worth talking about.
The most interesting thing about the Tempo is that it learns the wearer’s activity and behaviour. It effectively monitors activity and stores data about that activity and can alert care staff of any variation in activity. So for example, if the wearer eats less than usual or is not as active as they usually are, then it will alert somebody. This data can be accessed with CarePredict’s proprietary software and this can be accessed in real-time 24/7.
If you are interested in the Tempo, don’t confuse it with the round version which is the older version. The new version is rectangular and it’s a better device. Pricing and availability is vague however so we recommend you contact CarePredict to find out more.
G2i Emergency Watch
The G2I Emergency Watch, otherwise known as the Limmex AG Emergency Watch, was developed in Switzerland and it is a Swiss Made device. It has an integrated mobile phone with a loudspeaker and microphone. All models come with a high performance GPS module and the wearer’s GPS location can be shared with contacts stored on the device.
To make an emergency call, you simply press in the device’s crown or button located at the three o’ clock position. The watch can access all available mobile networks to make this call so signal strength shouldn’t be an issue. The watch will also send a predefined contact an SMS with a link to a map indicating the location of the wearer, regardless of whether the call is taken or missed and the battery life will last for several months under normal conditions.
The only downside to this device is that it’s hard to get, and the Limmex website is hardly informative. A list of vendors can be found here and the watch retails for around £300.00.
Burg 31 Cellphone Watch
The Burg 31 Cellphone Watch is the only smartwatch on our list which accepts a SIM card (micro-SIM), so for all intents and purposes you can make and receive calls on this watch without having to tether it to a smartphone. However, this watch also has Bluetooth so you can connect it to a smartphone if you desire and it also has GPS tracking features.
You can speed dial up to three phone numbers with the Burg 31 and it operates on GSM 850/900 / 1800 /1900 frequencies. What this means is that the Burg 31 has 2G capabilities in the United Kingdom, but not 3G or 4G capabilities. The watch is powered by a traditional Miyota quartz movement however the additional features are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which offers a talk time of 2-3 hours and a standby time of 48 hours.
Getting a hold of a Burg 31 may prove tricky, though. Amazon has some Burg smartwatches listed but not the 31 model, so we recommend you contact the maker to find out more.
Lively Safety Watch with Home Hub
The Lively Safety Watch is a unique safety proposition for the elderly. This watch has a dedicated button on the side which when pushed sets off an alert signal. That alert signal is sent off to the Lively care centre and a Lively care team member will call the wearer to ask if everything is okay. If there is any room for concern, the Lively care team member will alert predefined emergency contacts or escalate any issues to the emergency services if needed.
The watch itself runs off its own proprietary hub which is plugged into a wall socket in the user’s home, so no internet network or home phone line is required. It offers coverage up to 1,500ft and it the emergency features work beyond this. The Safety Watch is operated through a touchscreen interface which offers fitness tracking information, reminders and a whole host of other useful features which the elderly will no doubt appreciate.
Pricing information for the watch and required sensors isn’t readily published for this watch, so we recommend you contact Lively direct to find out more.
SafeLink is a wearable GPS tracker that is pitched as a tracking solution for people suffering from dementia. It is worn on the wrist by the patient, and notifications can be sent to up to three smartphones to alert people to any out-of-the-ordinary behaviour.
The device itself costs $199.99, plus $26.99 per month with no contract. Free roaming is offered within the U.S and Canada at no additional charge. The key feature of the SafeLink is its GPS module, which allows up to three people to track the patient in real-time, 24-7. You don’t even need to have a smartphone to track patients either, since a web-based tracking solution can be found online.
With the appearance of a digital watch, the SafeLink has a small digital display which reads the time, date, signal strength and battery life. It doesn’t offer any exciting features, but what it does it does well, so we can thoroughly recommend it as a reliable GPS tracker.
The Revolutionary Tracker is one of the most stylish devices on our list. It has a rugged silicone band and a square, metallic case, which looks like a retro Apple Watch. It also has a load of useful features, such as GPS tracking with an SOS button.
With GPS and cellular connectivity, with the simple press of a button the wearer can be connected to a family member or caregiver. Real-time tracking is achieved through a tablet or smartphone with a compatible app. Within the app, you can also set ‘safe zones’, so if the wearer strays beyond them, a notification alert will be sent.
The Revolutionary Tracker also offers two-way SMS and multiple seniors can be tracked and viewed at the same time, making this ideal for care home applications.
UnaliWear Kanega Watch
The UnaliWear Kanega Watch is a waterproof, impact-proof GPS tracker for seniors. This device offers the unique feature of being able to hook up to a hearing aid, and the Kanega Watch detects falls and will send an alert to medication management if detected.
Crucially, the Kanega watch is a standalone device and does not need a smartphone to work. This untethered approach boosts potential applications, since many seniors do not own or want to have a smartphone on their person. The Kanega Watch also doesn’t have a single button on it; everything is controlled by voice.
Another useful feature is on-call emergency assistance. This voice-activated feature will connect the wearer to a trained operator who can coordinate medical assistance if needed, which could prove it be a life-saver in the event of an emergency.
The Pocket Finder is not a smartwatch - it’s a key fob that can live in a person’s pocket on its own, or attached to a keychain. It is pitched as a tracker for vehicles, pets and people, and thanks to GPS and GSM connectivity, it is a very reliable product.
The way it works is simple: You turn it on, and then it receives GPS location data from multiple satellites. This information is then fed through in real-time to an account with Google Premier Maps, to allow people to track whoever or whatever is wearing it.
This product can be considered as a good alternative to a wrist-worn tracking device for seniors, although in truth, it isn’t as practical - consider that wrist-worn trackers must be undone at the strap to be misplaced, while this device could get left behind anywhere.
Mindme Locate and Alarm
The Mindme Locate and Alarm is another GPS tracking product pitched at dementia patients, but in truth it can be used by anybody who’s elderly. It can be worn as a key fob or as a pendant, and it reports its location every 4 minutes to offer accurate tracking.
Weighing just 40 grams, the Mindme is an unobtrusive tracker that’s also accurate. It uses a multi-network SIM for connectivity, and GPS to report its location. As previously mentioned, it reports its location every 4 minutes which allows for accurate tracking, and a 24/7 help centre is available to assist carers in locating their patients in the event of an emergency.
Mindme is the UK’s most popular tracking device for dementia patients, and it also works throughout the EU. Another version is also available for US customers. It retails for around $140.00, with a monthly subscription charge of around $20.00.